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Day before Election Day FL outlook: 4.5m have voted, Ds lead Rs by 167,000 ballots

More than 4.5 million Florida votes are already in before Election Day and Democrats used the last full official day of in-person early voting to extend their lead over Republican ballots cast by 167,000, according to this morning's figures.

Note: But for the numbers, the language in this blog is nearly identical to yesterday's. It's repeated here to provide context. The Saturday early vote numbers that were available Sunday morning weren't fully updated. Now they're as current as can be, along with the most-recent absentee-ballot numbers. And a big shout-out to Trevor Aaronson, with the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, who helped pick up the early vote data analysis slack the past 3 days.

The last day of early voting was a whopper: a record 385,000 people early voted.

In all, about 38 percent of registered voters have cast ballots and about 50 of likely voters have. There are still absentee ballots pouring in.

That means wait times at polling stations on Election Day will be much shorter than the early vote wait times that have plagued South Florida for the past eight days. Tens of thousands of more early votes, by way of absentee ballots, are still flowing in and a few thousand (but not tens of thousands) more will come by way of in-person absentee ballots cast at some election supervisors' offices in select counties, such as Miami Dade (more here on that).

Early voting was shortened in 2012 compared to 2008, and the numbers are smaller.

According to George Mason University's United States Elections Project (which tracks early voting) about 2.6 million in-person early votes were cast in 2008 over 14 days in Florida. This year, after the GOP-led Legislature and Republican Gov. Rick Scott cut the days to eight, it's 2.4 million. But absentee ballot voting is stronger. In 2008, 1.7 million cast absentee ballots and this year the number will exceed 2 million.

Guess which type of voting Republicans specialize in? Absentee ballots. Democrats do better at in-person early voting. Though more fraud-prone, absentee ballot voting wasn't touched in the election law Scott signed that shortened early voting days.

In all, Republicans have cast 79,000 more absentee ballots than Democrats. Democrats have cast 247,000 more in-person early votes.

Using the GMU numbers (and there are other numbers that differ from them), Democrats had a cumulative lead as high as 363,000 ballots in 2008, or about 8 percentage points. The Republicans say the Democrats' 2008 lead was about 315,000. And the Democrats say their lead was about 269,000. Our latest analysis of those 2008 voters who remain on the rolls now shows the Democrat early ballot/pre-Election Day lead would be about 282,000 if the presidential election four years ago were held with the current electorate.

Regardless, that Democrat lead has been cut to 4 points, or 167,000 -- and not just because of the shortened early voting period.

There's a sense of diminished Democratic enthusiasm for the president compared to 2008. And the Democrats actually lost more voters between 2008 and 2012 than Republicans and the Democratic Party grew at a slower pace (this was before Scott's voter bill was signed in 2011).

Also of note: a Miami Herald poll indicated Romney gets more crossover votes than Obama and is winning the early vote anyway.

Early vote numbers:

Party         EV Total                %
DEM       1,109,262 46%
REP         862,277 36%
IND         440,133 18%
TOTAL       2,411,672

Absentee vote:

Party         AB Total              %
REP         885,675 43%
DEM         806,310 39%
IND         365,736 18%
TOTAL       2,057,721

Combined:

Party         EV Total              %
DEM       1,915,572 43%
REP       1,747,952 39%
IND         805,869 18%
TOTAL       4,469,393

Comments

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Earl Bailey

Are we going to have "hanging chads" again? Wouldn't surprise me! Fortunately that egomaniac of an Attorney General has moved on and can no longer claim that she alone decided the Presidential race yet again. What a disgrace to Democracy she was!

Mike

Marc Caputo still will not tell his readers that the GOP in 08 had a much stronger absentee lead of 16%!
biased reporting?

Raul

Mike,

Are you really accusing Marc Caputo of being biased towards the Republicans??!! LOL. I believe that a few posts back, before in-person early voting started, he did mention that the Democrats had narrowed the gap from four years ago. Bottom line is that the Democrats did improve their share of absentee ballots from four years ago, while the Republicans also improved on their share of in-person early votes. In light of what most polls say about Romney winning the independents, I think the various advantages discussed here will be moot. Romney wins Florida by between 3% to 5%. Other battleground states, way above my pay grade to try to predict!

MACH1513

Really, th unanswered - and unanswerable - question until after all the votes are in after the polls close is whether the better Republican showing is merely a matter of shift forward AND if Democratic shortfall is simply a matter of former early voters now voting on election day....
We shall see.

MACH1513

....And, by the way, forget about so-called enthusiasm: your vote doesn't count for anything more because you mark your ballot more vigorously.

Mike

Raul,
The difference between liberal media and conservative media? Sometimes the so called liberal press, eats their own!

John

I've followed 3 different analyses of Florida voting ( and watched the horror that is the Ricky Scott parade in general during early voting.)

My predictions: Florida vote total 8.7M votes, Obama wins with a 45,000 vote spread, barely averting a recount.

At the end of the day, record vote totals, brought about in large part by voter outrage at (R) attempts at suppression. If you think the escapades in Miami Dade this past weekend constitute "less enthusiasm", I'm not sure what tea leaves you're reading.

And Marc, if you didn't know the Dems registered 400,000 NEW voters THIS YEAR, well, that one's on you...lol

LesG

Re: Raul, other Romneybots, and Marc Caputo:

This is my 4th post this wk -- all saying the same thing. Raul, various other Romneybots, and Marc Caputo still seems to linger in their political fantasyland.

Currently, and when all votes are cast, FL indeps will comprise ONLY about 17% of the total FL vote. Just about all polls indicate that Romney is winning the indep vote in FL somewhere betw 55/45 Romney/Obama to 60/40 Romney Obama.

Knuckleheads: because Romney is getting a majority of the indep vote, that doesn't mean he gets to add all 17% to his column. Instead, Romney would add 10.2% indep to his total vote column in a 60/40 indep split, while Obama would add 6.8% indep vote to HIS total vote column. That would mean a NET 3.4% margin for Romney among indep in actual votes cast. IF the Dem vote over Repub vote margin remains 4% -- which it currently still is, (and growing daily) -- then Obama would STILL WIN -- in that scenario by a total vote margin in the state of 0.6% (i.e., 4% Dem over Repub margin less 3.4% Romney/Obama margin among indep votes cast).

If the Romney/Obama split among indeps was actually the smaller 55/45, and if the Dem vote over Repub vote margin still remained 4% when all votes were cast, then Romney would only add 9.35% -- rep. the FL indep vote -- to his column, while Obama would add 7.65% indep vote to his column. The difference betw the 2 -- 1.7% -- Romney over Obama edge in actual indep votes, --- would still NOT overcome a Dem over Repub margin in total votes cast of 4%.

The bottom line -- for all of the false propaganda about how "enthusiastic" Repubs are to vote, and how lethargic Dems are, many more Dems are voting in FL then Repubs in actual numbers of votes.

The indep vote split in his favor won't win FL for Romney. The DEM outpouring of votes in SE FL WILL, in fact, win the election for Obama. Best guess for final FL vote -- about 75,000 vote Obama winning margin in total votes cast in the state.

Raul

LesG

Bottom line is that the Democrats are ahead by 167K ballots cast. That is at least (using the Dem number for four years ago -- which is the smallest) 100K less than their advantage in 2008. McCain, a much weaker candidate than Romney, with a lackluster campaign won the election day vote in Florida. Do you really think that the Dems will win election day this time around?? Talk about lingering in a political fantasy land!!

Raul

Mike,

That's a good one about the difference between the liberal and conservative media!!

Becca

ROMNEY APOLOGIZES FOR AMERICA!...While he claimed that Pres. Obama was on an Aplogy Tour, Romney was in the DEEP SOUTH aplogizing for many things that America had no hand in:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkJcjxL2ssw&feature=plcp

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